Kato USA Web-Poll (February 2019)

501 Feb 19, 2019

  1. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    I can't resist. I think David has the right take on the KATO BB#4014 possibility and I would most certainly discourage purchase of an Athearn unless it has been "fixed". Many of you know that I am an SP bum that also likes UP "big steam" so I purchased a DC analog version of the BB with the plans to put my own ESU Loksound install. Wow, what a mess. When the loco arrived, BTW from a non TB advertiser which has nothing to do with the balance of my thoughts, it ran like crap. I could not/would not wait several months or up to a year to get it repaired, so dug into it and found the absolute worst case of soldering done by a manufacturing plant. I made several pictures to document and then decided to drop my beef and fix it myself. I did , never installed sound, but rather a Zimo decoder and it runs OK. It appears to me that Athearn has no "real" quality control. Oh wait, that's an oxymoron, right?

    At any rate, I would purchase one from KATO, even with less detail and that is one good point about the Athearn. But, deep in my mind I can not forget some of the KATO goofs on their 1st releases of the Mike and GS-4. However, they did make fixes post haste.

    Just for the record, I do have some nice Athearn diesels.

    That's enough ranting, so always have fun,
  2. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

    The 20th Century Limited has not been 'announced for production'...yet.
    The news, at the 2018 NSE convention's manufacturers' breakfast, was that Kato was 'planning' to research and subsequently release the 20th Century Limited in a diesel pulled version (E7s)...
    There has been no further announcement, nor has factory time been slated for production, yet. I'm fairly confident we'll see it, but the time line is not set in stone.
    The Big Boy is one of Mr. Hiroshi Kato's favorite engines...he, personally, has been wanting to do this engine for a while. And the Big boy is also one of the favorite NA prototype engines in Japan; they are fascinated with it. So, a Kato Big Boy has plenty of appeal in the Japanese market as well (The majority of Kato's market)
    I reminded Mr Kato that UP had plans to travel to Ogden, with the 844 and the 4014, to re-enact the driving of the Golden Spike, for the 150th year anniversary, and he immediately replied, "See!...we should do the Big Boy!"
    The problem is, doing a Big Boy would exhaust Kato USA's entire annual R&D budget (and then some)...so other releases/projects would have to simmer on the back burner for quite a while. However, I would imagine tht any of these other 'large' engines in this poll, would also eat up a significant amount of the annual Kato USA R&D budget.
    For the record, I wouldn't be opposed to a Kato Big Boy (I have the latest Athearn release (4022) and it has run flawlessly from the start); I know a Kato Version would run even better. But, for this particular poll, I voted for a Centennial, even though it's not even in my modeled era.
    The Milwaukee road electrics were added to the poll to see if there would be enough interest in something else that could possibly pull the hiawatha and help Kato realize some more sales from an underperforming release...(many Hiawatha sets are still in the Kato warehouse).
    The poor performance in sales for the Olympian Hiawatha doesn't bode well for any future northern train, such as the NP train a few folks here are asking for.
    the fact is, Western roads sell (ATSF, UP, and SP) and Kato knows this well. Every release, in these roadnames, sell out, and sell out quickly.
  3. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

    Eastern roadnames sell well too =( In particular, C&O / B&O modelers are prone to buying multiples of anything produced, and Norfolk Western locos always sell very well too. But yeah, Kato has definitely always had an affinity for the western roads. Hopefully BLI moves beyond PRR and gives us some proper NYC models.
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Kato rep at the recent Springfield show indicated (unofficially) that the 20th Century Limited would be released next year.

    If Kato had conducted a poll, prior to producing the Olympian Hiawatha, asking for a preference between that train and the NP North Coast Limited, it would have been interesting to see which train would have come out ahead.
    As a consolation prize, I'd be satisfied if they produced the existing smoothside cars (and F3/F7) locos in the Loewy two-tone green scheme. Several years ago they made runs of those cars in Alaska, C&NW, IC and VIA. Are all of those roadnames more popular than NP?
  5. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Don't hold your breath.
    Apparently the NYC historical society has been unsuccessful in trying to convince BLI to produce an HO steam loco, so the odds of them ever making one in N are almost nil.
  6. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

    ‘Next year’...
    Again, no firm date and no factory production time has been slotted for this year...( the speculation was 2nd quarter of 2019!)
    The reason the Hiawatha was selected?
    It became a pet project of the late Mr Kato, after being hosted in the existing skytop lounge car while attending a conference.
    While I realize that we all have certain favorites as far as trains and consists, manufacturers ( Kato) have to make their decisions based on sales performance. Kato understands, very well, what happens when they stray from a certain formula.
    That being said, they are definitely open to what may change ( as far as sales trends) or what may suddenly become newly popular.
    These polls are relatively new (as opposed to an existing query/suggestion box on their website), which shows that Kato is listening.
    What they ultimately decide to produce will be based on what they believe will sell.
  7. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    What happened to the consensus basis by which Japanese companies typically make their business decisions?

    Hopefully they've stopped listening to a certain 'model railroad consultant'.
  8. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

    What model railroad consultant?
  9. dualgauge

    dualgauge TrainBoard Member

    Last year at Trainfest a Kato rep said the 20th Century is several years out. Only time will tell.
  10. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    The one who, among other things, advised Kato to hold back on using certain roadnames until the second production run of the RDC models.
  11. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Now, I'm pissed off.

    Someone at Kato isn't listening. Let me ask you the TB regional Board of participants. Have I not said we don't want anymore FEF's (4-8-4's) from B-mann. I want to see Kato (no body else) produce a Santa Fe, true to detail, Northern (as already described). Now a Northern Pacific FEF, Great Northern - Northern (4-8-4) would be welcomed I'm sure by many of you. More of you then for the above listed locomotives by Kato.

    I can only hope someone is listening... now. Yes? Nope? Just as I thought. I'm once again on ignore.

    What do you mean, you thought I was just kidding around here? Heck No!! Okay, you are right, I was going to say something else.

    I want a 4-8-4, FEF, Santa Fe Northern, with a properly sized tender and correct numbering. There are three versions as in the 3,000 class and the other in the 2,000 class and/or 5000 class. With two differently sized tenders. Do I have to spell everything out. GET IT!!!@!!@???

    Whew I hope they heard me. Who? Kato, of course.
    WM183 likes this.
  12. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

    Well poop. I wonder why manufacturers avoid NYC so much? I'd do backflips for a BLI (or Bachmann, or Kato, or anyone modern really) L2 or L3 Mohawk, H5 2-8-2, or a K11 Pacific. Sigh.
  13. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

    Used to work with someone who was bi-polar...voted for the big boy (only because there was no 'none of the above' option). Hey Kato, how about a good ten wheeler or an atlantic?
  14. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Well you could say an Atlantic would be welcome. Except that it is an earlier era locomotive type 1920s-30s era however a few did soldier on until ll the 1940s and a few until 1950. Belpaire boiler versions were found on the Pennsy, GN, and SP&S. Conventional boiler versions found on too many roads to be listed here over 1,900 built. Even a camel back version emerged. Definitely would be nice to see a manufacturer introduce some of the smaller locomotives that could run on the smaller pikes and look good on the smaller radiuses.
  15. drasko

    drasko TrainBoard Member

    3751 class
    3765 class
    2900 class
    5000 class was the madame queen 2-10-4
    the santa fe had multiple classes in the same thousand group

    BarstowRick likes this.
  16. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Model Power's Atlantic and Mogul are good runners, and both are available from a major distributor as I type. To be fair, I had to tweak the Atlantic before it would pull 5 coaches, but they both are reliable.
  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I voted Little Joe.

    That said... with this year being the sesquacentennial (150 year anniversary) of the joining of west and east railroads at Promontory Utah... both UP options had to be included.

    I would have like a Hudson/Baltic on the list.
    We can use a good quality 4-6-4... and Kato did one over 40 years ago for ConCor

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
  18. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Voted for the rail grinder myself just because it is so unique. Second choice would have been the big boy but any of those in this poll would be cool to have.
  19. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    Honestly, the Big Boy makes a lot of sense, except for the fact that Athearn currently makes one.

    The Little Joe is the only one used by three roads, The Milwaukee Road, South Shore and the Brazilian national railroad.
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Think for a minute the difficulties Kato, must have trying to focus on just ONE Diesel/Motor or a Stove/Locomotive. As you read through this thread, do you see what I see?

    Let me put it in the form of a question. Can we agree on what we want next?

    We have been blessed and spoiled by diversity in the hobby. There is more available to us today then we had through the 50's. Then the 60's and I think you can see where this is going. Each ten year more train stuff came along. Some of it good and some of it worthy of the trash can. Life Like, Model Power and B-mann all tried buy mainly failed to deliver quality products. It took Kato, to set the standard for quality Motive Power. Arnold, Atlas, Rivarossi and ConCor stepped to the plate and changed things-up delivering train equipment, still in my roster. Micro Trains, set the standard for quality trucks, wheelsets and knuckle couplers, freight cars and now HW passenger cars... once again changing the playing field. Recently as in the 2000's... Intermountain, Broadway Limited, Wheels Of Time, Rapido and others all have contributed quality train equipment.

    Through the last of the 80's through the 90's we saw Con Cor and Atlas team up with Kato to produce motive power that still haunts my diesel roster. We saw ConCor and MicroTrains team up to produce some superb "Streamline" passenger train equipment. Arnold and Rivarossi, left off some details but those "Heavy Weights," were awesome. With interiors, to beat all. Then Micro-Trains showed them how to install all those details. Amazing!!

    However, for the manufacturers or providers, it's a marketing nightmare to decide what to put out...next. For a while we had F units coming at us from every model railroad manufacturer and you could almost round out your roster of F's with any First Class, Railroad you desire. Then and now we went from feast to famine. You were lucky if you got in on it. For those of us on limited incomes...not near as much fun.

    Funny, but up until last year... you could find used stuff on Graig's List or E-pay. Now? Not so much. It's all hobby shops and new stuff, at new prices. Thus the reason why I say "Pay". Of course if you want a wife for a night, you can find that on Craig's or is it Graig's list. Sigh! What? What? What did I say?:whistle::censored::sick::ROFLMAO::sneaky:

    Anyway, there it is and the market hasn't seen near as many buyers as we have now. More Toy Train enthusiasts and manufacturers then ever before. Enjoy it while it lasts. I have a hunch things will get worse rather then better but that's only a hunch. Afraid I will only be allowed to have green minded train equipment and that won't set well with me at all. DA's!!!!:cautious::barefoot::mad:

    Now that I've gone and stimulated my cerebellum, I better get back to my remaining N scale train collection and get that layout of mine back up so I can enjoy it. That is before I have to sell it all off and move into an assistive living situation. I won't say what I was going to say here other then, I'm not looking forward to that. Not at all!! (n):(:confused::eek:

    Okay, what's next? :cool:
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019

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